Ceramics from El Puente del Arzobispo

January 2004

The Province of Toledo has been the center of handmade ceramics for well over a thousand years. The artists of the neighboring villages of Talavera de la Reina and El Puente del Arzobispo establish the standard against which all other Spanish hand painted ceramics are compared. In fact, in Latin America the generic term for quality hand painted ceramics is Talavera.

Many serious artisans have found the neighboring village of El Puente del Arzobispo more supportive of their commitment to preserve traditional style and quality. The ceramics of Talavera de la Reina are so well known to the international tourist that volume production is necessary in order to meet the demands.

La Tienda offers two categories of ceramics from El Puente del Arzobispo.

Our first collection is completely dishwasher safe. We asked the artisan who makes hand-made traditional pieces, to glaze the pieces at a high temperature, which makes them impervious to the high temperature of the dishwasher. There is no risk of the finish being crackled.

It was quite a tour de force for our artisan Belén. She needed to change the composition of the clay and the pigments she used to paint the ceramics because the higher temperature changed the traditional colors! Look for the 'dishwasher safe' designation, which appears on most of our ceramics listed on line.

Our original collection contains hand-made pieces which have been made the traditional way for centuries. These ceramics are glazed at a moderate temperature. The potter has made two holes in the pedestal so that you may display these colorful hand painted ceramics on the wall of your kitchen, breakfast nook or patio.

If you use them as a set of set as luncheon dishes and salad plates, be assured that these quality ceramics have high quality glazing and are made from food safe lead-free materials. We recommend that they be hand-washed, because placing them in a dishwasher can eventually, over time, cause the glaze to crackle.

Our family uses serving bowls and plates for every day use - a colorful bowl filled with clementinas, apples and grapes is very attractive. Serving gazpacho from a colorful serving bowl, accompanied by small soup bowls captures the essence of Spain.

Each ceramic piece of either category is hand-painted and individually signed. Designs are never mass-produced via silkscreen printing. Therefore, no two pieces are identical. As with other examples of quality handwork, such as Persian carpets, the individuality of each piece is what makes it highly prized.

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